There’s a famous seaside town called Blackpool,
That’s noted for fresh air and fun,
And one Saturday in early July,
By unit, and pals, it was overrun!

Any tears at parting from mum (from one Brownie) were forgotten in less than 5 mins and a coachful of noisy Brownies headed for a sleepover in the circus ring.  Frequent calls of “Are we nearly there yet?” echo’ed around and Eagle Owl generated vague answers which satisfied (even if they translated as – “how do I know in this heavy traffic?”).

It was strange how Joscelin Owl knew the names of quite a few before we reached the Tower!  It couldn’t possibly be that some fidgets had to be named repeatedly en route, could it?

And, on arrival, after the first of many ascents up many stairs immediately following, of course, the first of numerous toilet invasions by the horde, the adventure started in earnest with the circus.  The Brownies really enjoyed it, whilst grazing on sweets, popcorn and pop; whilst Leaders’ toes were curling – how on earth did that acrobat get away with a Risk Assessment allowing all kinds of terrifying dangling from the ceiling area – minus a belay rope or safety net?

Naughty Eagle Owl had forgotten to tell the ringmaster of the 3 birthdays, but the girls rectified that themselves and got an announcement to say their naughty scout master had forgotten – sorry Scouts but we forgot to correct him.

Our next stop took us to Jungle Jim’s. With a glass roof on a warm day, the grown ups gently wilted in the heat whilst the mob ran around with great enthusiasm, appearing frequently with glowing red faces to drink more water.  They seemed unaffected, so we left them going in order to tire them out.

Tiring them out was a vain hope, so given the beautiful evening, it was time for a walk down to the beach where an hour and half passed in what seemed like seconds.  A sandcastle building contest demonstrated their womble like acquisition skills as, with no money, they acquired the buckets spades (and beer cans) that others had left behind to make their creations.  Leaders balked and confiscated the empty beer cans but felt the rest was fair game.  When castles were built, attention turned to digging the largest holes possible and running……………. and still there appeared to be no end to their boundless energy! It was great to be outside as their noise level was epic!

So back we went and headed down to the circus to prepare for our sleepover.  Eagle owl carefully explained the sleeping arrangements – all possessions in the middle, heads to the middle and feet pointing to the edge in a circle with the circus ring, being a perfect circle as guidance.  Naturally, this presented as wasted breath; we got a splat with heads aimed any which way!

Brownies ran round and round the circus, still with boundless energy. They got into sleeping bags/out of sleeping bags/lost their pyjamas/found their pyjamas and in one case, needed reminding 20 times or so that we were getting ready for bed as N chose to supervise everybody else “being helpful” whilst ignoring every instruction herself.

Supper was consumed and into sleeping bags they got!

Then, with 3 birthdays to celebrate, it was time for the great midnight feast – ok this may have been midnight in Paris, but it worked for us! C’est la vie!  Naturally, having gone a whole 20 minutes or so without food, the Brownies were ready for this.  Before we could light the candles (2 per girl) in a safe area, Eagle Owl had to radio for a member of staff from the Tower and the Leaders were somewhat amused when she turned up with six litres of water to extinguish the conflagration she thought we may cause!  But the candles were blown out, presents and food passed round and finally it was time to settle the Brownies for the night.  We guessed we might be doing something right when one of the birthday girls exclaimed, “This is the best birthday ever!”.

With a little bit of tweaking of sleeping arrangements and a conjuring trick, where the Brownie who had gone head first into a bag was extracated in entertaining fashion (think rabbit out of hat), peace finally fell upon the ring with just the odd bit of whispering here and there to be heard.

And so day 1 drew to a close!